Wong, Janet S. 2008. Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer.
Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer is the follow up to 2003's Minn and Jake. Though I think that you could easily read this book without having a familiarity with the other. Essentially, Minn and Jake are "true best friends." Though mostly opposites, they make a great pair. She's tall; he's short. He's a city kid; she's a country kid--a lizard-and-worm loving country kid.
At the end of the first book, Jake left with his mom and baby brother, Soup, to visit his grandmother in L.A. He invited Minn to come visit him and his family during the summer. This book is the story of what happened (in part) during that summer.
Like the first novel--verse novel--this one just feels right, feels authentic. These are two young kids getting ready to enter sixth grade. They're not quite "at that age" where they're thinking about the opposite sex, thinking about "having a boyfriend/girlfriend." But they're almost ready to start thinking about thinking about growing up.
Here is a one of my favorite bits:
When you talk with a good friend,
half the conversation is in parentheses.
You know what your friend is thinking.
When you talk with a stranger,
it's like homework.
Questions to get answers.
With a true best friend,
the questions are understood,
the answers are authomatic,
and knowing you've ruined your friend's day
with your bad news
somehow makes it easier to bear.
Jake, Minn, and Soup--and other family members as well--make great company on an August day!